Roughriders aware of Lucky Whitehead and his ‘big play’ abilities

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson is well aware of B.C. Lions playmaker Lucky Whitehead.

Whitehead is leading the CFL with 554 receiving yards on 30 receptions — 18.5 yards per catch — including two touchdowns through the air. During the Leos 33-29 Week 1 loss to the Riders, the 29-year-old speedster hauled in five passes for 136 yards and one touchdown, a 75-yard catch-and-run major.

“It seems like Lucky has one big play a game, or two if you count the return game which he’s going to be doing a lot of,” Dickenson said.

Through six games in the 2021 schedule, Whitehead has been the most entertaining player in the league. Both of his offensive touchdowns season to date have covered 75 yards and in Week 6 he scored on a 119-yard missed field goal return.

Whitehead can pop for a touchdown in the blink of an eye. He is part of a receiving group that includes perennial CFL all-star Bryan Burnham, who ranks fourth in the league with 433 yards, American rookie Keon Hatcher and Canadians Jevon Cottoy and Shaq Johnson.

“They’re really, really good and they give Michael Reilly a lot of options when he’s back there throwing the ball. They’re a very explosive team,” Dickenson said.

“You got a vertical threat in Lucky and a guy like Burnham that catches everything you throw his way. I think when you look at B.C.’s receiving core top to bottom, if they’re not one in the league they might be two.”

The (4-2) Riders will try and contain the Lions (4-2) offence enough to win at BC Place Friday night.

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